Saturday, October 31, 2015


Transcendence is a 2014 film about artificial intelligent.  In particular, Johnny Depp plays the character of Will, who ends up "transcending" and creating the most advanced and complex AI, able to be self-aware.  Of course, this has huge repercussions and there are groups out in the world who fear and are against this type of advancement.  They aim to destroy and hold back any developments int his area.  Will succeeds and over the course of the film, it tries and plays out the philosophical arguments, such as the AI going too far, seemingly taking out the world.  Unfortunately, Transcendence strays far too much onto the unbelievable area, especially with its depiction of nano technology.  Furthermore, it ends up feeling like a Terminator film with the machine taking over the world and a group of humans to try and stop.  The plot can be predictable and there is no doubt there are some big plot holes.  There can be bits of the film where the pacing was off and you lose interest but on the whole, it was entertaining enough to keep your attention.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Toy Review: Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Sticker Sheet (Wave 1 and 2)

Review:  #279
Product:  Generations Combiner Wars Sticker Sheet for Wave 1 and 2
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  N/A
Line:  Generations - Combiner Wars
Year of Release:  2015
Size Class:  N/A
Mold Status:  N/A


As part of a promotion in Asia, a sticker sheet was provided as a bonus when you purchased a certain amount of Transformers Generations Combiner Wars toys.  These stickers are specifically for Wave 1 and 2 toys, i.e. Superion and Menasor.  They add additional details and is a nice throwback to G1.


Let's start with the Aerialbots, and first up is Air Raid, the only additional detail in alternate mode is the addition of some vents on the top.  It does look nice though and breaks the black.

In robot mode, he has a sticker on his chest which breaks up the blandness of the combiner piece.

Something less obvious due to his giant kneecaps is that there are stickers for his thighs.  It doesn't make a huge change for Air Raid but the extra details it does add is nice.

With Alpha Bravo, he has stickers in helicopter mode on the sides and where his robot shoulders, which I can't make out what it is supposed to be.

Robot mode details are much better, with additional details for his chest and forearms.  It looks fantastic and suits the figure nicely.

Firefly unfortunately does not have any stickers for jet mode.  In robot mode, he gains additional details on his shoulders, chest and shins.

With Silverbolt, one really nice touch is that there are stickers for his robot mode shoulders which translates into air intakes and actually makes the undercarriage less noticeable.

There are a few other generic details on the top and sides of the jet.

Silverbolt naturally has the most stickers out of the Aerialbots, he has additional details on his shoulders, torso, thighs and shins.

There's also a piece on the outside of his forearm, which is hard to see.

Lastly, Skydive's only additional detailing in jet mode is the sides of the jet.

Robot mode fares better with details on his chest, torso and shins.

As Superion, additional details on his torso help breaks up the solid red and white.  His thighs has two extra yellow detailing and Air Raid's stickers also shines through.  The other Aerialbot's stickers doesn't show in combined mode.

The sticker sheet actually does enhance the toys, extra details doesn't hurt and there's quite a bit of fun putting them on too.


The sticker sheet covers the Wave 2 Stunticons too, Breakdown's stickers include two for the spoiler.

The biggest benefit here is the addition of rear lights, it helps so much in breaking the bland whiteness.

Something really weird is that they added details underneath the windshield, you can't see this in vehicle, robot or combined mode so not too sure why it was added.  Breakdown doesn't gain any additional detailing in robot mode.

For Dead End, there are only stickers for lights next to the grill.

It looks okay but it was such a pain to put it on properly.

Robot mode gains some nice details such as his feet, crotch and forearms.  The metallic nature of the stickers makes them stand out more.

Drag Strip gets one of the best upgrades in the whole set.  He gets additional details in the front, and just behind the cockpit.

Furthermore, his gets taillights of sorts.

In robot mode, in addition to the vehicle stickers showing through his legs, he has stickers for his thighs and shoulders.

It looks really good and adds so much character to the figure.

Motormaster doesn't get any stickers for vehicle mode, but just like Silverbolt, a lot of the stickers are dedicated to him.  He gets detailing for his shoulders, chest and shins.

Since his chest is so nicely painted, it was almost a shame to put the chest sticker on, but the shoulder sticker is definitely welcomed.

Offroad gets some tacky flame decals for the hood.

He gets rear windows though and his bumper gets an upgrade.  Annoyingly, the instructions for Offroad is really vague and you could easily end up putting it in the wrong place.

In robot mode, he gets a red decal for his chest which is awesome, plus his thighs and forearms.

It's hard to see normally due to his kneecaps but his thigh stickers are quite nice.

Finally, as Menasor, the main stickers are his crotch, his thighs and just below his head (where the collarbone would normally be).

If you don't use Blackjack, and close his chest, you can see additional stickers there.

While some of the stickers are tacky, just like Superion, they add some nice details to the robot.


As a freebie, this sticker sheet is awesome, adding additional details to the figures, after which you couldn't believe how bland they were before.  If you have to pay for it though, that is another story and might not be worth it as much.  Considering how much fun it was to put them on and makes you appreciate the sculpting on the figures, this sticker sheet is awesome, and will definitely make you want the sticker sheet for Combiner Wars Devastator and Defensor.


For other Transformers reviews, have a look at this page.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review: Shadow Wolf

Review:  #527
Title:  Shadow Wolf
Series:  Wolves of the Beyond - 2nd book
Author:  Kathryn Lasky
Read Before:  no
Comments:  Just like the previous book, Lone Wolf, the author once again succeeds in writing a story where it subtly sucks you in.  Shadow Wolf has this quality where you’re slowly absorbed into the book’s world and is thought-provoking.  This sequel follows Faolan once he has joined a wolf clan and of the humiliation and submission he has to endure.  Being the proud and independent wolf that he is, Faolan has trouble adjusting and it leads you to wonder how he was survive, and how he will break out of this role.  Mixed into the plot is the murder of an abandoned pup, where while it didn’t seem very significant when it was initially encountered, turns into the crux of the climax.  New characters are introduced, including the antagonist who is somewhat pathetic and petty.  The ending was full of betrayal and shifty plans, to the point where you’re genuinely afraid that Faolan will fall victim to them.  While the ending could have been more down-to-earth (it feels a bit superficial), Shadow Wolf was enjoyable.
Rating:  6.5/10

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Robocop (2014)

Robocop is a 2014 remake of the 1987 movie of the same name.  Alex, a critically injured policeman, is given a second chance through the use of integrating machine with organic to create the ultimate cop.  While drone machines already exist and are far superior, the population of America did not want mindless beings being their law enforcers and thus Robocop was born.  The movie revolves around the ethics of tampering human with machine, including the manipulation and control of Alex.  As expected, Alex isn't completely bug free and becomes unstable from time to time.  He unmasks the corrupted system causing alarm in the process.  The film relies heavily on CGI and there are times where the realism doesn't pull through.  Whether intentional or not, the film is also quite patriotic, to the point where it feels exaggerated and ignorant, especially the ending scene.  Robocop's plot never feels as though it takes off, an hour into the film and you're still left wondering when it is actually going to get to the main event.  A disappointing ending leads to a film with a half-baked feel.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Toy Review: Transformers Robots in Disguise (2015) Bumblebee (Legion)

Review:  #278
Name:  Bumblebee
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  Autobot
Line:  Robots in Disguise (2015)
Year of Release:  2015
Size Class:  Legion
Mold Status:  new


Bumblebee transforms into a yellow sports car, however, with the downsizing comes some downgrading:  he lacks black stripes.

What is surprising is that he has red taillights as well as that all his windows are painted (unlike the Warrior Jazz figure...).

This is a Legion classed figure, one of the smallest size classes that Transformers come in.  He is a bit smaller than previous Legends sized figures.

A quick comparison with his bigger incarnation, obviously at this smaller scale, the sculpting isn't as precise and the angles not as sharp but still a decent representation.

There is a scannable badge on the right side for the game, where you can temporarily unlock the character.  A decent vehicle mode overall.


Most surprisingly. Bumblebee has a complex transformation, much more so than you would expect.  The way  the car roof morphs into his robot chest is tricky the first time and maybe even a bit unnecessary since it is unwieldy due to the small size.


In robot mode, Bumblebee is okay, the windshield as his chest makes it seem out of proportion and very different from the character model, even though you can tell what the designer was aiming for.

There's not much kibble overall although his arms are a bit long.

The head is very small but the sculpting is nice, plus, it is painted silver.

He comes off as a big shorter than previous Legends classed figures but is on par with the other Legions in the RiD line.

A comparison with the Warrior version and it is surprising at how well this smaller figure manages to replicate some of the details.

Poseability is limited to his shoulders and hips.  The ankles can be tilted thanks to transformation but overall, it's hard to find a good natural pose for the figure.

There's a lack of new paint in this mode either, instead relying on the black and yellow plastic.  It still works well though.

A decent robot mode if a bit static and generic.


While not as strong as say Sideswipe, this is still a very nice figure.  The vehicle mode is great and the robot mode is passable.  For his inexpensive price, Bumblebee is worth a purchase.


For other Transformers review, have a look at this page.

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